Who is really in the know on the transfer window

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Post by RedOranje Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:58 am

Neil Jones (Liverpool Echo) wrote:

IT is a thoroughly modern football phenomenon. A thoroughly modern social phenomenon, even. The rise of the ‘I-T-K’.

I-T-K, for those who, lucky for them, do not have daily dealings with social media, stands for ‘in the know’. These people mainly congregate around football – though their ‘influence’ is beginning to spread to other areas –  and profess to have the ‘inside track’ on everything from team news to injuries to, of course, transfers.

Needless to say, the transfer window is where they come into their own. And I-T-Ks are popping up across cyberspace at an alarming rate this summer.

It is estimated that by the summer transfer window of 2015, one in three Twitter users will be ‘in the know’, and that every Premier League club will have it’s own official, licensed I-T-K, delivering titbits of highly-confidential information from behind a carefully-crafted pseudonym.

OK, that last bit isn’t true –  Twitter will do well to have three users in 2015, I reckon – but then I-T-Ks don’t deal in truths. What would be the point of that?

Instead, their currency is rumour, conjecture, often outright lies. They churn them out, day in, day out. They’ re prolific, relentless, dedicated, the 21st century equivalent of the gossiping cabbie. For some, it is becoming a full-time hobby.

And the fact that so many have become so good at it does not reflect well on anyone. Not the people behind such ‘characters’, the medium by which their ‘news’ is passed, nor those who lap up their nonsense.

And people do lap it up, believe me. That Liverpool were this week forced to respond to a fake email circulated on Twitter speaks volumes. The lines between truth and fiction are being blurred every day. They will take some clearing.

That e-mail was, supposedly, from Reds managing director Ian Ayre, and discussed, in some detail, the future of Luis Suarez at Anfield. It had been ‘leaked’ within hours of being ‘sent’. In short, it was about as genuine as a TOWIE smile.

And yet people still believed it. The thirst for news, it seems, can never be quenched, especially when there is no football to interrupt the constant flow of speculation.

An excellent column by George Caulkin in The Times this week explained the problems reporters face when covering the transfer window. “Bull**** Mountain” was his rather succinct description of the madness of the transfer window.

Modern football fans are spoilt; there has never been so much information on the game available so readily; the database is huge.

But information comes in two forms – reliable and unreliable. And deciphering which is which is becoming harder by the day. It is the challenge facing every journalist, be they local, national or international.

The football media gets, if this is possible, something of a bad press. Cynics  accuse reporters of over-egging nothing stories or, in some cases, of inventing others. “Lazy journalism” is the first refrain for those wishing to dismiss a rumour they don’t like the sound of.

The truth is rather more complex. The transfer window is fraught with danger for journalists. And journalists, the good ones at least, are having to work harder than ever to get their stories straight.

With (most) clubs desperate to conduct their transfer dealings in private –  a leaked story can scupper or delay a move before you can say ‘last-minute swoop’ – and with agents eager to link their players with the right club at the right time to secure the right deal, the water is muddy. Muddy and deep. It takes a lot of work, a lot of phone calls and a lot of patience to get to the bottom of a story. And even then, that story is liable to change in the blink of an eye.

The I-T-Ks, of course, know all this. They know fans want to see their club linked with players, they know fans will respond, often in their thousands, to those links. And so every time they produce one, their  following grows and grows. Until, that is, they announce that it was all a big ruse, a “social experiment”, a bit of fun and how on earth did anyone ever fall for it?

Fair enough. It’s only football, after all. The only crime here is the time wasted in concocting these invented ‘transfer scoops’. And the naivety of those who continue to believe them or, worse, those who want to believe them.

The bottom line is this; there is no such thing as an I-T-K. They don’t exist. There are people who know some things, and people who don’t. And even the people who know the most, don’t know as much as they would like to. But you didn’t hear that from me, OK?
http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/blood-red-liverpool-fc-column-4323820


Parts of the article read a bit like someone whining about being picked on (not unlike a certain striker who gets lambasted for that very thing) but the overall point of the article is a fair and accurate one, IMO.  It's a point worth keeping in mind as well.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:15 am

Fantastic article. Everything is spot on
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Post by DeletedUser#1 Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:19 am

Gil :xavi:

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Post by Kick Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:25 am

Very true. It's the main reason why I am sceptical about most rumours.
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Post by McAgger Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:15 am

Which is why I can never take anyone who speaks in definite terms seriously (and believe me there are quite a few here on GL).
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Post by Clandestino Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:35 am

McAgger wrote:Which is why I can never take anyone who speaks in definite terms seriously (and believe me there are quite a few here on GL).

Good read.

There is a bunch of them here, actually, even citing in great detail what a certain player/agent is requesting. I don't know if it's just a simple need to feel more important or a more serious mental issue, but it's even worse when you see the more feeble-minded users here taking their word as it was pure gold instead of pure crap that it is.
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Post by Swanhends Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:53 pm

Fascinating to me how different transfer rumors in Europe work compared to trade rumors in the US

Two completely different worlds

In the US we do have "insiders" who break news; Jay Glazer, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen etc

Don't have any of the same problems with rampant rumors either for the most part




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